The modern workforce is increasingly mobile. In fact, IDC estimates that this year there will be 1.3 billion mobile workers worldwide, or 37.2 percent of the total workforce.
Mobile workers need easy access to the same technologies as their office-based colleagues – and that means having a laptop that’s powerful, portable and reasonably priced. Read on to learn what we think are the five most important features of a business laptop.
Modern laptops can be just as capable as their desktop cousins. They fall into several broad categories: ultra-portable (with a 9–13ʺ screen and weighing about 2.4 lbs), laptop (11–15ʺ screen and 2.9–6.4 lbs), and desktop replacement (15ʺ screen or larger and heavier than 4.4 lbs).
When selecting a laptop, check whether its listed weight includes the battery (which can add more than two extra pounds).
With many workers constantly on the move, laptop manufacturers have begun to take durability seriously as a selling point. Generally, metal cases offer more protection than plastic ones – though nothing beats a rubber case.
Some models have been designed specifically to withstand constant movement. For less durable models, you might consider buying a shockproof case that attaches to the laptop or investing in a hardy laptop bag.
There are laptops available that offer between 128GB and 2TB of space. For mobile workers who frequently use larger files, such as videos and high-resolution images, more space is definitely better. However, even 128GB is enough for about 60,000 photos, 19,000 songs, or 3.3 million business documents.
If people in your business travel frequently you might consider a laptop with a solid state drive (SSD). Unlike traditional hard drives, SSDs don’t have any moving parts, which makes them quicker, more durable, and resistant to overheating.
4. Battery Life
A 2015 study by Digital Trends found that the average laptop battery lasts 6.35 hours. But if you'll be spending more time than that away from a power source, don't worry – some business laptops sail past the nine-hour mark, giving you a full day of work on a single charge.
Most business laptops offer fast processors with integrated graphics cards designed to support multi-tabbed browsing and common office programs. In many cases, this is all you’ll need.
Of course, if you work with large media files, frequently edit photos and videos, or want to play video games on your lunch break, you’d do well to select a laptop with superior graphics, memory and RAM.
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